And not only did working while I traveled help pay for my trip, it also kept me grounded. Working on different projects gave me much-needed structure, though I tried to keep at least a day or two a week somewhat flexible to explore the city I was in.
If you’re thinking about taking your freelance circus on the road, here are a few things I would consider:
1. Figure out what gear you need to replicate your setup
This is kind of an obvious one, but it’s also the most important. Initially, I planned to bring recording equipment with me, but my suitcase was getting a bit too heavy and I was worried about my gear getting damaged or lost.
The non-negotiables for me were everything I needed to edit: my laptop, headphones, mouse, and iPad. I usually either edit with two screens and/or on a desktop monitor that’s so large that I can have Adobe Audition open and Google Docs or Trint open to follow a script. Lugging around a desktop was not an option. Enter: the iPad. I use it to pull up Google Docs, and use Audition on the laptop. An external keyboard would have taken it to the next level – I find it annoying to edit with a laptop keyboard – but it did the trick.
2. Make arrangements with your clients
Talking to your clients about their needs well in advance of your departure will allow you to put safeguards in place so you’re not panicking on the other side of the world. Everything I was working on was remote anyway, but if you work with clients where you record in-person, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to take your show on the road. You could hire a fellow producer to tackle the in-person recording while you’re away, and have them send you the tape when they’re done. Maybe they’d want to batch record a few episodes before you go, so you could chip away at your leisure, giving them a bit of a break, too. Being a few hours ahead often worked to my advantage, because I could cut a draft in the morning and have it ready for my colleagues to listen to by the time they woke up. Pretty snazzy.
Anything is possible when you communicate!
3. Have a sit down with an accountant
If you’re working while traveling, and you’re self-employed, chances are, you can write off at least some of your expenses on your taxes. Are you working from your Airbnb? Meeting potential clients over lunch? Seeing a play for research for a new project? Keep your receipts and talk to an accountant about what you can write off to offset travel costs.